Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/259/24698
Hands Off The Post Office
WHEN OUR manager announced the £1.1 billion loss in Consignia and the additional 17,000 job losses on top of the 15,000 already announced, my workmates cheered at the resignation of Chief Executive John Roberts.
A London postal worker
But some have had enough and want Early Voluntary Retirement (EVR).
While the first batch of redundancies was largely in Parcelforce, the second batches are mainly delivery workers. This is a consequence of the abolition of the second delivery and the proposed introduction of the so-called Tailored Delivery Service. Management claim that only 4% of mail is being delivered on second delivery.
Postal workers don't want to spend four hours a day without a break carrying heavy mail bags around the streets and EVR is tempting if people expect to get another job. But recession is looming and many who take EVR may regret their decision.
The new chairman, Leighton is trying to disassociate himself from his predecessors. In particular, he criticised the buying up of foreign companies, instead of investing in Royal Mail. But he's still in favour of another fashionable management policy, outsourcing.
Haden, part of Balfour Beatty, one of Railtrack's most notorious contractors is likely to take over building maintenance and cleaning, now done for Consignia by ROMEC. Vehicle services and health and welfare services are also being targeted for outsourcing.
Whatever happens, it looks like we will pay for senior management's mistakes as usual.
Gary Clarke, from Edinburgh added:
"THERE WAS a mixed reaction to the announcements in my workplace, some people are in the mood to fight the redundancies but some older workers want to go. But everybody wants to know what's happened to the cash. What happened to the 22 years of profit, when we had our pay rises frozen?
"The most any postal worker can get if they go now, with long service, is £25-£30,000. For less than ten years service you can only get three weeks wages for every year served.
"How much is John Roberts going to walk away with, after presiding over the transformation of a profit-making organisation to one making record losses?
- Stop the break-up and privatisation of the post office.
- Bring back into public ownership all industries and services privatised by Labour and Tory governments. Run them under democratic workers' control and management.
- Organise strike action to defend jobs in the post office.
- For a one-day public sector strike against privatisation.
In The Socialist 21 June 2002: